Under Who’s Authority?

“When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan- it is God’s Plan.” [1]

That quote is from my authoritative upbringing in the LDS church. I get that many “Christians” don’t equate the LDS church within the Christian tradition (most consider them a cult with good reasons). But, the reason why I am beginning with this quote when referring to authority within Christianity, is simply this: Do we see that much difference when it comes to the other 40,000 Christian denominations?

Some churches are more subtle then others. Regardless, many people have been so burned and abused by the “authority committee” that they no longer participate in church or don’t even believe in God. Why is this? What is wrong with this picture? Many factors come into play when dissecting the core issues of abusive leadership. In the end, there’s one sure way to always ensure that you are in a healthy and liberating body of Jesus participants: follow Christ not men/women’s ideologies.

Now, some will say: “yeah-yeah but Christ set up his church with apostles, pastors, elders, etc. to keep things in order! Just following Jesus is dangerous! Some checks and balances are in order.” The ironic thing about this argument is it’s true to a certain point. I mean, let’s go back to the LDS church. A man claimed he saw a vision of God which then brought about “new” scripture which then inaugurated a whole new order of authority. Do you see a pattern here (hint: a numerous amount of Christian denominations claim the same authoritative sequence when it comes to the Jesus tradition in one way or another).

But, is that really how this faith came about? Was it God giving hierarchy patriarchal authority to rule the cosmos with law and order? Or was it the Spirit of God producing good fruit (love, joy, temperance, patience, peace kindness, gentleness, long suffering) to heal and liberate the cosmos from the grips of AUTHORITATIVE sin and death? I think the latter is the case and here’s why: The Kingdom of God is where no man teaches you: You know God (Hebrews 8:10-12). The Spirit of God was declared “upon all flesh” at Pentecost (Acts 2:17).

What the Bible shows is a people coming to terms and a realization with this all merciful loving God. The Bible is not one voice but many. All were on a journey through the road of Christ. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral got it right: scripture, tradition, reason and experience. This is how it’s always been with the law and prophets to the apostles and disciples: a trajectory. That delves in nicely with what we see as a healthy way of coming together to produce good fruit for all who need it in the New Jerusalem.

Who has the authority? Well, the more I walk with Jesus, the more I see that he is the author and finisher of the faith. But guess what? You are too (Rom 8:10-20)! So, what’s the deal? I think Gods plan from the beginning was comradery not authority. So let’s let go of our egos and have the servant heart to participate in the Divine Dance of Shalom. It’s a dance folks. We only will dance once we find our inner authority in the depths of our souls. Once that lost inner peace is found, we all will take turns leading along the way…

“The Crucified revealed to the world that the real power that changes people and the world is an inner authority that comes from those who have lost, let go, and are re-found on a new level.”[2]

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